Howard Springs, Northern Territory

Coordinates: 12°28′02″S 131°03′44″E / 12.4672°S 131.0621°E / -12.4672; 131.0621
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Howard Springs
DarwinNorthern Territory
Gunn Point Road - Howard Springs.jpg
Howard Springs is located in Darwin, Australia
Howard Springs
Howard Springs
Coordinates12°28′02″S 131°03′44″E / 12.4672°S 131.0621°E / -12.4672; 131.0621[1]
Population5,132 (2016 census)[2]
 • Density65.309/km2 (169.150/sq mi)
Area78.58 km2 (30.3 sq mi)[citation needed]
LGA(s)Litchfield Municipality
Territory electorate(s)Nelson
Federal division(s)Solomon
Suburbs around Howard Springs:
Shoal Bay Shoal Bay Shoal Bay
Shoal Bay
Howard Springs Shoal Bay
Virginia Virginia
McMinns Lagoon
FootnotesAdjoining suburbs[3][4]

Howard Springs is a locality in the Northern Territory.[1] It is 29 kilometres (18 mi) SE of the Darwin CBD. Its local government area is the Litchfield Municipality. The suburb is mostly a rural area, but has been experiencing strong growth in population and development. From 2020, it has housed a major quarantine facility.

Early history[edit]

European settlement of the area began in 1864. The stream which commenced with a spring was named for Frederick Howard in 1865 by the survey party of B. T. Finniss.[3] Howard was the captain of a schooner and a hydrographer.[citation needed]

Although first examined in 1921,[5] Howard Springs in 1939 became the first major water supply area to service Darwin, at one time also known as Worgan Springs.[3][6] Discharge was calculated to be 1.9 million imperial gallons (8.6 Ml) every twenty-four hours.[5] Later Manton Dam supplied water to Darwin with the onset of World War 2, but now most of Darwin's water supply comes from Darwin River Dam.[7]

Uranium was located in the area in November 1952, but not in a workable form.[8]

The suburb is mostly a rural area, but has been experiencing strong growth in population and development. A primary school was erected in 1974.[9]

An accommodation facility named Manigurr-ma Village was built at Howard Springs in 2012 by Japanese energy company Inpex to accommodate up to 3500 temporary fly-in fly-out construction workers on the Ichthys LNG gas plant.[10] The facility was closed and abandoned in 2018.[citation needed]

COVID-19 quarantine facility[edit]

From early 2020, the abandoned accommodation facility became a quarantine facility for people returning to Australia from areas infected with COVID-19, initially on 9 February 2020 from Wuhan.[11] The quarantine facility was run by the Australian Medical Assistance Team (AUSMAT).[12] From later in 2020, the facility was a quarantine facility for people arriving from Victoria during the second lockdown of that state.[13]

From mid-October 2020 the quarantine facility was referred to as the Center for National Resilience, in anticipation of an agreement between the Northern Territory and Federal Governments in October 2020 for use of the camp for that purpose.[14] From late October 2020, the quarantine facility was used for repatriating Australians from Europe and India.[15] From May 2021, the Northern Territory Government began to gradually take over all operations from AUSMAT.[16]

Following the recommendations of a national review of hotel quarantine for a national quarantine centre,[17] the commissioning of Howard Springs prompted demands for other quarantine facilities, which based on the Howard Springs model were approved to proceed for construction at Mickleham, Victoria in June, 2021;[18] at Jandakot, Western Australia in August 2021,[19] at Pinkinba, Brisbane, Queensland in mid-August 2021[20] and a separate state government built Queensland facility at Toowoomba in late August.[21] Howard Springs and the first three of these run under Federal Government auspices (though operated by the relevant state or territory government) are all modelled on the Howard Springs camp and use the Centre for National Resilience name, on the basis of the Howard Springs camp's success in avoiding COVID-19 leaks.[22]


  1. ^ a b "Place Names Register Extract for Howard Springs (locality)". NT Place Names Register. Northern Territory Government. Retrieved 13 May 2019.
  2. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Howard Springs (State Suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 28 June 2017. Edit this at Wikidata
  3. ^ a b c "Howard Springs". NT Atlas and Spatial Data Directory. Northern Territory Government. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  4. ^ "Litchfield Municipality Localities" (PDF). Place Names Committee. Northern Territory Government. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Darwin's waste water". Northern Standard. No. 79. Northern Territory, Australia. 11 August 1921. p. 3. Retrieved 17 May 2021 – via National Library of Australia.
  6. ^ "Darwin Water Supply". Northern Standard. No. 84. Northern Territory, Australia. 20 October 1939. p. 6. Retrieved 17 May 2021 – via National Library of Australia.
  7. ^ "Darwin water supply". Power and Water Corporation. 29 March 2019. Retrieved 5 February 2021.
  8. ^ "Howard Springs uranium find". Northern Standard. Vol. 7, no. 333. Northern Territory, Australia. 7 November 1952. p. 1. Retrieved 17 May 2021 – via National Library of Australia.
  9. ^ "Tenders invited". Australian Government Gazette. General. No. 70. 27 August 1974. p. 36. Retrieved 17 May 2021 – via National Library of Australia.
  10. ^ "Ichthys LNG Project completes Manigurr-ma Village". INPEX Corporation. 29 July 2014. Retrieved 13 July 2021. The INPEX-operated Ichthys LNG Project today announced the completion of its Accommodation Village at Howard Springs ... Named Manigurr-ma Village after the Larrakia name for the Stringybark tree, the village will provide a home for up to 3,500 Project personnel during peak construction ...
  11. ^ Truu, Maani (9 February 2020). "Inside the NT facilities where coronavirus evacuees are being quarantined". SBS News. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  12. ^ "AUSMAT Howard Springs Quarantine Facility". National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre. Australian Department of Health. Retrieved 6 May 2021.
  13. ^ "Why NT quarantine tops Melbourne's hotel disaster".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  14. ^ James, Felicity (14 October 2020). "NT Chief Minister to have 'final' talks with PM about bringing stranded Australians to Darwin". ABC News. Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia: Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 23 September 2021. Michael Gunner said he would have a "final conversation" about the issue with Prime Minister Scott Morrison in Sydney on Friday, separate to National Cabinet discussions that day. "This will be that final conversation between us and the Prime Minister about what we can do together about Howard Springs being a centre for national resilience."
  15. ^ Hitch, Georgia (16 October 2020). "How do I get tickets on the new flights to Darwin? How much will they cost? Will I have to do coronavirus quarantine?". ABC. AUSMAT. Retrieved 6 May 2021.
  16. ^ Vivian, Steve (4 May 2021). "Commonwealth begins handover of Howard Springs quarantine facility to NT government". Australian Broadcasting Commission. AUSMAT. Retrieved 6 May 2021.
  17. ^ Haydar, Nour (24 October 2020). "Hotel quarantine review recommends new options as Australia opens to travellers amid the COVID-19 pandemic". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 23 September 2021. It floats several suggestions for alternative models, with a few key overarching strategies to adapt the current quarantine model to work in a COVID-normal world. Essentially: ....Consider a national quarantine facility to provide surge capacity
  18. ^ "Victorian quarantine hub". Victorian Government Site. Government of Victoria. Retrieved 23 September 2021.
  19. ^ Birmingham, Simon. "JOINT MEDIA RELEASE Contract awarded to deliver purpose-built quarantine facility in WA". Federal Finance Minister. Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 23 September 2021.
  20. ^ "Plague of problems to solve before old army barracks becomes quarantine facility". INQueensland. INQueensland. Retrieved 23 September 2021.
  21. ^ Palaszczuk, Annastacia. "New Palaszczuk Government regional quarantine facility to keep Queenslanders safe". Queensland government media statements. Government of Queensland. Retrieved 23 September 2021.
  22. ^ Cowie, Tom (14 August 2021). "Construction of Mickleham quarantine camp starts". The Age. Archived from the original on 12 May 2023. Retrieved 12 May 2023.

External links[edit]